Messaging app Telegram is developing a group video calling feature that would be launched later this year, the company announced today. The move would help its customers keep in touch with loved ones all through the coronavirus pandemic and after, the messaging app said.

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Telegram announced the plans alongside a report that the app reached 400 million monthly active users, doubling its consumer base in two years. The service - founded by Pavel Durov, who also created Russian social networking website VK - said Telegram adds approximately 1.5 million customers every day.

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Telegram to compete with other video calling services

After being inundated with requests for the function over the previous weeks, Telegram confirmed it "will [bring] you secure video calls in 2020."

While Telegram did not reveal many details about the feature, it appears to be taking a dig at other video calling services facing privacy issues and security scandals. In response, Zoom has promised to improve security features and upgrades. However, that won't stop competition from taking advantage of its blunders.

The Verge said Telegram had faced its share of complaint from the security network in part as its end-to-end encryption needed to be enabled manually.

Telegram, however, remains to be one of the most trusted messaging apps worldwide, Engadget reported. The messaging app allows its users to delete messages retroactively. Throughout the Hong Kong protests, Telegram introduced a feature to protect customers' identities better.

Telegram also detailed a collection of new features today. Users can now add educational snippets to quizzes created on the carrier. At the same time, a new sticker directory would also be seen. Its macOS clients will also have unique features.

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Telegram's user base has doubled in the past two years

According to Telegram, it hit the 400 million user milestone this year. Reaching the milestone means it's doubled its user base since 2018 when it had 200 million monthly active users. 

The company noted at least 1.5 million new sign-ups for the carrier each day, which makes it the most downloaded social media app in over 20 countries. However, its user base nonetheless pales in comparison to WhatsApp, which boasted 2 billion users as of February this year.

Other communications services also are seeing a jump in customers. Zoom said it had gained 100 million new users in the last few weeks. Google's Meet video chat carrier, on the other hand, is gaining two million new customers a day.

Facebook stated more than 700 million accounts take part in voice and video calls every day on Messenger and WhatsApp. According to CNET, the social media platform noted an increase in calls worldwide since the coronavirus outbreak began. On Friday, Facebook unveiled the Messenger Rooms function on Messenger, which lets you join group video calls even if you do not have a Facebook account.

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